DHS announces fusion center cooperation
| 07.28.2006 | 06:00:57 | Views: 2688 | ID:
July 28 '06: In an effort to combine emergency preparedness and counterterrorism efforts on the federal, state and local levels, officials at the Department of Homeland Security have announced new plans to strengthen intelligence sharing at fusion centers in several large metro areas around the country. The fusion centers will help "to facilitate the two-way flow of timely, accurate, actionable information on all types of hazards," the department's press release said.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said, "There is no more effective way to connect the dots than by having our personnel sitting in a chair next to their local counterparts, providing them with information they need to make timely and informed decisions on how best to protect their community." The new fusion centers cited were in New York City, Los Angeles, Reisterstown, Md., and Baton Rouge, La.The overall structure for intelligence sharing, information analyzing and coordination efforts were issued in a joint DHS and Department of Justice report last year. In the report, guidelines for the overall structure of the centers focused on a trifurcated-approach with law enforcement intelligence, public safety, and the private sector being the major topics. The Los Angeles Times reported that the city's fusion center "opened it doors Thursday to help more than 200 law enforcement agencies coordinate their efforts to prevent terrorist attacks." Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton told the paper, "No place in America is going to be better prepared to fight external and internal terrorist threats." So far, more than $380 has been given to fusion center efforts nationally. Technology and training also have been provided by the federal government. Charles Allen, chief intelligence officer and the assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS said, "Having our intelligence and operational personnel on the ground working daily with state and local law enforcement and governmental representatives, as well as our federal partners who have a presence in these centers is also going to provide us with critical sources of unique law enforcement and threat information."
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